Why is it that when you walk into some people’s homes, you immediately feel relaxed and drawn in to sit and stay awhile?

Well, it can be many factors, and what may feel cozy and comfortable to some, may not to others.  But there are some general tips I can give you that will ensure to make your livingroom feel more relaxing and welcoming.

I have been decorating homes and creating soft furnishings for over 30 years. People often comment that my homes (I have moved several times) feel so cozy, and that they would like to make their homes feel the same.

Here are the main factors that I believe contribute to having a cozy, welcoming home:

1. Comfy furniture.  Make sure your furniture is comfortable and easy to clean.  In your living area, whether you have 1 couch, 2 couches, a couple armchairs or a sectional, make sure the furniture is soft, but supportive, and covered in a fabric that is easy to clean.  Slipcovers are great.   You and your guests will feel more relaxed in comfortable in furniture that is made to be used.  Always have a table surface within reach of every seat, and good lighting by at least one spot for reading.  Coffee tables and side tables should not have hard, thin edges (no glass), and also be easy to clean.  Wood furniture is timeless and always feels warm and inviting.  In this living room interior design I did for a client, the custom sofas are from VanGogh furniture and the coffee and end tables are from Wayfair.

VanGogh furniture

2. Avoid too much clutter.  Coffee tables with drawers or a shelf underneath, bookcases, built-ins, baskets and storage ottomans all can help hide and organize day-to-day items that are needed in the room.

coffee table, wayfair, storage, cottage

3. Keep it personal.  Don’t be afraid to show your personality.  Photos, trip mementos, books about things that interest you, beautiful art and pottery that is meaningful to you, small collections – all add interest and are conversation pieces.  The trick is not to overdue it – and to group like items together.

art, gallery, wall, display, photos

4. Keep it natural.  Bring the outdoors in.  Flowers, branches,  sea shells, pine cones – whatever you can find outside that makes you happy and brings a bit of the outdoors inside all year round.  Also use natural materials as much as you can – linen, hemp, wool or cotton for your curtains, roman shades, rugs, slipcovers and pillow covers.  Natural sisal or wool rugs, woven baskets, wood furniture, and  wood, granite and marble surfaces all help to create a timeless, classic look.  I love to provide soft, cozy throws on my furniture all year round.  In summer they can be taken outdoors when the evenings are a bit chilly, and in winter they provide extra warmth in the evenings.  My favorite throws are made from merino wool, alpaca and angora.

hemp natural fibre

5. Keep it clean.  Use natural cleaning products to keep your home feeling fresh and clean.  Dust and vacuum regularly and polish all surfaces.  Get in the habit of tidying up at night before you go to bed so that you are not faced with this task in the morning.  When everything has a place, (and every family member helps), it makes the task easier.  Our minds function better and we feel less stressed when our surroundings are uncluttered, and so will your company’s.

6. Use window coverings.  Even if you have an amazing view that you don’s want to cover up, you don’t have that view at night, and a big, black sheet of glass can be very cold and unwelcoming.  Soft linen or cotton curtains that draw off the window during the day will frame a view and provide warmth at night.  Textured roller blinds, wood blinds, and natural fabric roman shades can also provide style, colour, texture and softness to a room.  Window coverings also absorb sound, making a room less echoing and easier to have a conversation in.

7. Last but not least, your home needs to smell good! Your living room, bathrooms and bedrooms can all benefit from using natural materials for keep them smelling fresh.  Use pure, beeswax candles to provide a soft glow in the evening and a natural, gentle scent.  Beeswax burns clear and actually cleans your air while it is burning.  Essential oil diffusers also work well if you like a stronger scent.

candle, beeswax, natural, canada

I hope you find these tips helpful.  

I would love to know what you feel makes a house feel like a home!




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